View Full Version : Name your top 10 heavyweights

Virgil Caine
07-17-2010, 04:21 PM
This is a topic which I've been grappling with in my mind for a bit. I think the HW ratings are officially a complete mess at the moment, although most sites are bias toward Zuffa fighters, and so there is nowhere to find credible rankings. I do agree, however, that most fighters who deserve most of the top rating spots in most of the top divisions are Zuffa fighters. When it comes to heavyweight however, I do not think this is the case.

Now, speaking of heavyweight, there are a number of issues when it comes to ratings. Fedor, who I believe to have been the obvious pick for #1, just lost to Werdum, who is indeed a great fighter in his own right, and who has solid wins over a number of great fighters, including UFC fighters Grabriel Gonzoga (x2) and Brandon Vera, Strikeforce champ Overeem, Alexander Emelianenko, and now Fedor, with his most decisive losses to a man in Big Nog who is clearly past his prime and undeserving of a top ranking, and Junior Dos Santos, who, as it so happens, is one of the hottest names in the business.

Then there is the issue of champions. Many sites choose to rank Brock Lesnar as #1, yet with utter disregard of what he may have done to establish this position. His win over Carwin was noteworthy, but Carwin was himself unproven, and Brock's record is really quite thin. Beyond Carwin, his best win is Frank Mir, who is hot and cold to put it politely, and has lost to a few of the other top guys, including Werdum victim Brandon Vera (for whatever that may be worth).

Moreover, if you wish to consider championships as an accolade, it is arguable that Overeem deserves equal consideration at least. It may be said that Overeem hasn't really earned his title; the exact same can be said about Lesnar. What can be said though to set Overeem apart is that he has far more experience, and is the more proven MMA fighter. Additionally, he is a world class kickboxer, which makes him one of the most dangerous strikers in MMA.

Given all of these circumstances, I truly do not believe a proper top 10 rating is possible given the current state of affairs in heavyweight MMA. That said, I'll give it a shot.

Please give your own, if you feel so inclined, and please do include an explanation as to why. As I've said, HW MMA is in utter disarray at the moment as far as rankings, so opinions count. My ratings are to follow.

Virgil Caine
07-17-2010, 04:42 PM
1. Alistair Overeem - This is a tough call with, admittedly a not 100% proven MMA fighter. With that said, however, he does have a long winning streak, and more importantly, very solid skills in regards to both submissions and striking. His status as Strikeforce champion is worthy of note as well. This was most certainly Fedor's spot until recent events, however at the present moment, I afford Overeem the spot as number one.

2. Fabricio Werdum - He is one of the most talented HW in all of MMA. He beat the man in Fedor, and deserves to be rated ahead. I would have no problem with rating Brock in this spot or as #1, however he showed serious limitations in his last fight, and in my mind, raised more questions than he answered. Most of the UFC heavyweights are still green, and so based on superior accomplishments, Werdum deserves the nod. Just to note, in my personal opinion, if Werdum were to fight Fedor an additional 9 times, Fedor would win every fight, however fights are not fought on paper, and Werdum deserves the superior rating on account of the superior head-to-head accomplishment to date.

3. Fedor Emelianenko - People may be thinking now that I am nutthugging Strikeforce, but I can't see how else to rate this ****. Fedor is easily the most skilled heavyweight, and is hands down one of the most skilled fighters in all of MMA, when it comes to all around ability. He has been at the top of the sport for a decade, and has never lost a fight until this past couple of weeks. In so doing, he did not show any weekness in terms of physical ability, rather he lost do to what seemed like a tactical error in the early going. In short, Fedor does not deserve to drop much at all.

4. Junior Dos Santos - This is a tough one between Brock and Santos. If you consider that Santos has a recent KO over the #2 ranked fighter, it becomes less difficult. Moreover, there are plenty of criticisms about Brock earning the title shot as a result of who he was, so there is no need to overrate him as a result, in as far as I am concerned. Who is to say that Dos Santos may not have had the same result if afforded the same opportunity? Some may consider it such as that I am favoring Overeem for his title, whereas I am selling Brock short; however, the difference is Overeem has considerably more experience as well as more proven abilities to fall back on to support the rating. In short, titles figure in, but they are not the foremost consideration, especially given the political side of the current scene.

5. Brock Lesnar - What can I say. He impressed with his durability and his champion's heart. His size, strength, and wrestling make him a tough outing for anybody. He would be a live dog against any heavyweight in the sport, no question. Still though, he is not as skilled all-around as some of the other fighters on the list. His striking is especially limited, which plays a significant role in his rating here. Basically, he seems to rely on either takedowns or singular punches, which leaves him vulnerable to a more versatile fighter.

Virgil Caine
07-17-2010, 04:59 PM
6. Cain Velazquez - This guy is still green, but he has a chance to prove his metal in a proposed title fight with Brock Lesnar. He has shown himself as a good fighter, and would seem to have plenty of upside. His striking is still lacking, but it has certainly improved, and time shall tell if it will be enough to get the best of the UFC champion.

7. Shane Carwin - A dangerous test for anyone, with powerful hands and solid wrestling. Following the Brock fight, the most obvious questions have to do with his cardio. There is no doubt that his size presents limitations in regards to stamina, however more importantly, he plainly punched himself out. Having never previously been out of the first round, and while fighting in a UFC title fight, it seems that he got overly excited and expended too much. Hopefully he can work on his game plan, adapt his workouts, learn from his mistakes, and come back stronger from this fight. Quite simply put, you cannot on this level be merely a one round fighter.

8. Josh Barnett - He could be ranked much higher, if not for issues he's been party to. I think his story is well documented; hopefully he can work things out rather than merely become irrelevant. He has nearly as much talent as anybody on the list. Things aren't looking too bright for Barnett at the moment, but if there is one thing which is certain it is that PEDs do not teach the skills which this man possesses.

9. Antonio Silva - A solid heavyweight, a big guy, and a strong test for any fighter. Not a guy who is likely to crack the top five, but if this were boxing, he would be a considerable gatekeeper.

10. Roy Nelson - This spot was between Brett Rogers and Nelson. Nelson has legitimate skills, but his physique certainly raises questions. Nevertheless, Rogers has dropped two straight, and Nelson has won a few. In a head to head, I think Rogers may beat him, but due to consideration of records, consideration of that fact that Rogers may be on a skid, and consideration of Nelson's considerable jiu jitsu skills, I have to give the nod to Nelson.